We had the good fortune of connecting with Sterling Neilly and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Sterling, how do you think about risk?
I feel that every decision you make in life is risk. Every action has a consequence, whether it be good or bad. We just have to remember that the good can outweigh the bad and we should take that leap of faith. It’s much better than living with the unknown. When I was younger, taking risks was never something I considered. I was raised to do things “by the book”. Go to school, get good grades, graduate, go to college, and get a job. This didn’t leave much room for my creative side. After realizing that yes, I’m good at school and I excel, I realized I was not happy with that. I started to write/blog, draw and create a lot more. This is when I began taking risks. Let’s talk about the things people often shy away from or are altogether afraid to address. I stopped being scared to remove myself from the things that were making me unhappy in terms of my career. While I carry the responsibility of being a mother and having bills to pay, I could no longer settle for a job. I took a risk and quit and BOOM. A better job fell into my lap and then there was the birth of Her Lotus Co. Letting go is a HUGE risk, but the reward has always been greater for me.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
My business is officially 5 months old and I have learned so much very quickly! As with any learning process, too much information can be overwhelming. However, I learned to take the information and apply it in doses. I have started taking business courses and doing a lot more research. It is definitely not easy, being that I do not come from a business background. Overcoming the challenges is the fun part! I always take a step back to assess the situation at hand. Sometimes a quick meditation is needed BUT luckily that’s what my products are made for. After making my assessment, I decide if I need outside help or if I can do it on my own. Running a business has helped me learn that I do not have to have all the answers or do everything on my own. I can always ask for assistance whether it be from my following, friends, or other business owners. I want the world to know that I intend to build this brand as much as I can to help people of color, but more specifically Black women and men, with self-acceptance, maintaining a growth-mindset, and above all else, spreading love.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Since I live in Miami this is a very easy question! I love to eat! A few of my top choices are Mastro’s Ocean Club, Kaluz, and American Social. In terms of drinks, I love Rickey’s, Tootsies, or simple stop at Twin Peaks. I’m really into art museums and aesthetically pleasing scenery so Wynwood is a go-to whenever I have a moment to share with my friends. I’d also recommend the botanical gardens here. They truly bring a different type of peace of mind.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Let’s goooo! I would love to shoutout so many people! But I’ll try to keep it short. Let’s start with the father of my child, Chris, owner of Carefreeblkboy. He continuously sends words of encouragement and supports my business. He lends a helping hand all whilst running his own business and working as well. Next up of course are my girls! Shay, Renee, Annissa, Vanessa, Cherry, Shineille, and Melissa to literally name a few! The support is overwhelming! If I ever need a video, it’s done without question. They share posts, spread the word and purchase products AT FULL PRICE (I felt that was important to mention because “friends” usually want a discount) without being asked. I love them endlessly. Honorable mentions to my family and friends who constantly tell me they are proud and that they look up to me. Hearing this definitely pushes me forward, especially when it comes from my baby girl Solana. Lastly, I would like to shoutout the book Vibrate Higher Daily by Lalah Delia. This book has transformed my entire outlook on daily life and the amount of power that is truly within me. It is a must read!